Friday 25 December 2020

King Philippe of Belgium - 2020 Christmas Eve Address (English Translation)

Ladies and gentlemen,

Every year we look forward to celebrating Christmas and New Year's Eve together with family, our children, parents and grandparents - with friends. Those precious moments bring us security, warmth and light, in these cold, dark and sometimes lonely winter days. That is what the Chain of Light also stands for: a symbol of connection and hope.

This year everything is different. Tonight we celebrate Christmas in our bubble, or alone. Because we have to keep it safe. Fortunately, love and friendship can bridge any distance.

The pandemic affects all of us, albeit in different ways. Unfortunately, many of us pay a heavy price for this. Many have died. 

The challenges remain enormous, but the end of the crisis is really within reach in the coming months. We can gradually make new plans and have confidence in the future. But without a doubt, we come out differently.

What lessons can we learn from this crisis?

First of all: we can handle this.

Our healthcare system has stood firm, thanks to the extraordinary effort and dedication of so many healthcare providers.

Then there are all the people who keep the country going day and night - by continuing to work, running their businesses, or continuing to provide public services. Or simply by offering help where it is needed.

And in recent months, the country has shown itself to be incredibly generous. So many fellow countrymen have volunteered. We have seen good examples of this. Someone is keeping an overworked nurse's children. Another does the shopping for the neighbors. Students teach primary and secondary school students online - or lend a hand in the hospital. A chef who has had to close his restaurant is now preparing dishes for the homeless. And Professionals from the event sector make their know-how available to residential and care centers. And there are many more examples.

The pandemic plaguing us for almost a year, we share the same uncertainty, the same concerns.

It has made us see and appreciate things differently.

We have become aware that we are all vulnerable. Much has been said in recent months about how we are living this crisis - we have listened to each other and we have understood each other.

Let us continue to speak honestly and frankly.

The lockdown gives us a better understanding of what people who are excluded or lonely have to endure.

More than ever, we must ensure that no one is excluded anymore. That everyone gets a place in society.

This crisis has made visible how much we depend on each other. And we have learned to dare to acknowledge that. When we respect and trust each other, that dependence is a strength on which to lean.

Out of necessity, our individual freedom is limited by the measures taken in the fight against the coronavirus, which sometimes has serious consequences. But we can accept those limitations, instead of enduring them. Our freedom is only meaningful if we can experience it together with others and use it for the well-being of others, of the whole of society.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The day will come when we will again interact in a relaxed manner; that grandparents take their grandchildren on their lap; that we return to church, synagogue, mosque and temple without restrictions; enjoy a concert together; that we celebrate again, in complete freedom, ...

I would like to conclude with a message for young people.

I know you are having a hard time.

We ask a lot from you and it is true that your life has been put "on hold".

But soon all this will be over and you can spread your wings again, make your dreams come true. And you give us the inspiration to work together for a better world.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The Queen and I, and our entire family, look forward to next year with you. A year in which we can fully embrace the future again.

Back to 2020 Christmas Speeches -  Main Page

Wednesday 9 December 2020

Reviewing Officers at Sovereign's Parade Sandhurst (2000-Present)

Royal Military Academy Sandhurst is one of several military academies in the UK. This academy is used as initial training for officers in the British Army. 

There are 3 Sovereign's Parades each year to mark the graduation of the Commissioning Course for Regular Army officers, which is 44 weeks long. There are 3 of these courses a year: (January-December, May-March, and September-August). There is a separate graduation for the Commissioning Course Short.

When possible, the Monarch's representative is someone already scheduled to attend the event. (I.e. Foreign Monarchs are the representative when their children are graduating.)

PurpleUK Royal
YellowForeign Royal
BlueUK Prime Minister

King Charles III's Reign
 Year  AprilAugustDecember
2029-- -
2028-- -
- -
2026-- -
2025-- -
2024-- -
2023King Charles
(200th Parade)

General Manoj Pande
(India Chief of the Army Staff)

General Tim Radford
(former Deputy Strategic Allied Commander Europe)
2022--Duke of Gloucester

Queen Elizabeth II's Reign
 Year  AprilAugustDecember
2022 General James McConville
 Chief of Army Staff)
Qamar Javed Bajwa
(Pakistan Chief of Army Staff)
Nicholas Carter 
(Chief of Defense Staff)

Boris Johnson
(Prime Minister)
Princess Anne
2020Private Parade
due to Covid
Ben Wallace
(Defence Secretary)

General Sir Patrick
(Commander United
Kingdom Strategic Command) 

2019General Mark Milley
(Chief of Staff US Army)
General Sir James Everard
(Deputy Supreme
Allied Commander Europe)
Countess Sophie
2018General Sir Nicholas Carter
(Chief of the General Staff)
General Mark Carleton-Smith
(Chief of the General Staff)
Prince William
2017Theresa May
(Prime Minister)
King Abdullah of Jordan
(Son's Graduation)
Prince Harry
2016Prince Salman bin Hamad
Al-Khalifa of Bahrain
General Sir Adrian Bradshaw
Deputy Supreme Allied
Commander Europe (DSACEUR) 
Duchess Camilla
2015?Air Chief Marshal Stuart Peach
(Vice Chief of Defence Staff)
Prince Charles
2014General Sir Richard ShirreffGeneral Sir Peter Wall
(Chief of General Staff)
Michael Fallon
(Secretary of State
for Defence)
2013General Sir Nicholas ParkerCountess Sophie ?
2012Duke of KentGeneral Sir Alexander Shirreff Philip Hammon
(Secretary of State
for Defence)
2011?General Sir David Richards David Petraeus
(CIA Director)
2010?David Cameron
(Prime Minister)
 Year  AprilAugustDecember
2009John Hutton
(Secretary of State for Defence)
? General Sir Nicholas Houghton
ice-Chief of
Defence Staff
2008Princess AnneKing Hamad of Bahrain  ?
2007?? ?
2006Queen Elizabeth
(Grandson Graduated,
150th Parade)
King Abdullah of Jordan Queen Elizabeth
(Grandson Graduated)
2005General Michael Walker
(Chief of the Defence Staff)
Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin,
King Of Malaysia 
Duke of Kent
2004Sheikh Hamad bin
Khalifa Al-Thani,
The Emir of Qatar
Prince Edward General Mike Jackson
(Chief of the
General Staff)
2003Tony Blair (Prime Minister)General James L. Jones
(Allied Commander
for Europe)
2002Prince Andrew? ?
2001General Mike Jackson? Princess Anne
2000?Prince Philip ?

Tuesday 1 December 2020

2020 Christmas/New Years Speeches

Most of European Monarchs give a speech sometime during the holiday season. We will link them here when they get posted, with an English translation.

(All times are Local/London.) 
    Christmas Eve Speeches
    King Philippe of Belgium (Pre-recorded, 6ish PM/ 5ishPM)
    New Time, as it will air as part of the "Noël ensemble à 11 millions" TV special.
    Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg (7 PM/6 PM?)King Felipe of Spain (Pre-Recorded 9 PM/ 8 PM) 
    40 mins before the speech, they show a video review of the year.
    Christmas Day Speeches 
    King Willem-Alexander of Netherlands (Pre-recorded 1 PM/ Noon)
    Queen Elizabeth of The United Kingdom (Pre-recorded 3 PM)
    King Carl Gustaf of Sweden (Pre-recorded 7:45/8:45)
    They usually release the video and Swedish texts earlier in the day.
    New Years Eve Speeches
    Queen Margrethe of Denmark (Live 6 PM/5 PM) 
    King Harald of Norway (Pre-recorded 7:30 PM/ 6:30 PM)
    Prince Albert of Monaco (7 PM?/6PM?)